Legal Question in Credit and Debt Law in North Carolina

Dated person in ME, he borrowed $6000, unfortunately conned. I moved to NC, he was moving to PR, I served small claims before he left, won small claim judgment in ME by default as he didn't show. Question: next step would be a disclosure hearing in ME. However, the only way I would receive anything back would be through wage garnishment. Is this something you can ask for at a disclosure hearing? And since he is now in Puerto Rico would there be jurisdiction problems about granting a wage garnishment?

Asked on 8/28/13, 1:03 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

You need to direct your question to a Maine-licensed attorney regarding wage garnishment.

It is my understanding that Maine and other New England states have a process for a supplemental hearing after a judgment. At the supplemental hearing, the court will set up a payment plan if the client can afford it and gets non-exempt income. However, this is not the place to seek wage garnishment. That has to be done by filing garnishment papers with the court and serving them on the debtor's employer. It is not requested at the supplemental hearing.

While the debtor is in Puerto Rico, does he work? Where is his employer located? If its in the mainland US then you have a good chance at establishing garnishment. I don't know what ME law provides in regard to that - a handful of states (like NC) has no wage garnishment; others like NY garnish at 10% and still others like CA and GA garnish at 25% depending on the debtor's income.

If the employer is not in the US or if he does not work, then your ability to garnish in Puerto Rico may be slim unless he owns property in PR. You may be better off hiring a lawyer there and finding out how to go about registering the ME judgment and enforcing it like a PR judgment.

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Answered on 8/28/13, 1:41 pm

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